Now that you have thought through a food storage plan it’s time to consider how you can do this without creating more debt or eating rice and beans for three meals a day.
“The Lord will make it possible, if we make a firm commitment, for every Latter-day Saint family to have a year’s supply of food reserves…. All we have to do is to decide, commit to do it, and then keep the commitment. Miracles will take place; the way will be opened… We will prove through our actions our willingness to follow our beloved prophet and the Brethren, which will bring security to us and our families.” Vaughn J. Featherstone
What small sacrifices are you willing to make now to follow the counsel we have been given and to have peace of mind when tough times come?
Here are a few of my favorite ideas:
- Pull out the grocery ads. If you have two grocery stores within a block or two of each other look at both ads. With the price of gas so high, you don’t want to run all over town to shop, it won’t save you any money and may actually cost you more than just buying at the regular price. Sit down with your ingredient list and see what you can find that is on sale. Don’t go crazy. It is far more important to have a two or three-month supply of a balanced diet than a one-year supply of oatmeal. Oatmeal three times a day will get old fast!
- Send a friend. If there are killer deals at two stores send a friend to the second store to purchase the sale items for both of you. You, in turn, purchase the items at store 1 that she/he needs.
- Decide when you will do your shopping. Don’t shop more than once a week. Shopping more often equals spending those extra bucks; the “I just need one thing” trips — have you ever really been able to get out of the market with only one thing?
- When I was first engaged, we began saving all of our pocket change at the end of each day. At the end of the month I would take that money and purchase food storage. We never missed the money and in a few months had all our spices and a trunk full of food.
- Make a list of all the favorite foods of family members. When a sale comes along on one of those foods, purchase a case and give it as a birthday or Christmas present. You can still add a small item to round out the gift. This is a great idea for married children and college students who are just catching the vision of these principles.
- Find a friend and pool resources. In many areas, supermarkets or super stores will have case sales. Purchase a case of as many items as you can afford and split them with a friend. This will give you a greater variety of food in your storage.
- No case lot sales? If your local store does not have case lot sales ask the manager about having one. If they refuse ask them about a discount for buying by the case. This saves them time and money and they will usually go for it, especially if you get together with a group of friends and purchase several cases.
- Eat breakfast-for-dinner once a week, and use the savings to purchase food storage. Breakfast foods such as French toast, pancakes and waffles are much less expensive than most dinner foods. Add fruit and milk and you will have a balanced meal and be saving money.
- Drink water. We have saved a not so small fortune as we have adopted the habit of drinking only water at meals. It is good to have soda, juices and other fun drinks on the e\shelves of your General Store but they should be used at celebrations or as comfort foods during a crisis time. Sodas and juices can also be used to make hydration formulas during illness or disaster times.
- Add more beans and other protein sources to your diet. They are much less expensive than meat. You don’t need to do this forever, but adding other proteins just once or twice a week will free up money and also help your body get accustomed to processing these foods.
- Hold a food storage garage sale or online auction. Have every member of the family go through their closets and contribute items. Designate the proceeds to purchasing food storage. Remember to buy a one-month supply of everything first, so purchase a variety of food. After purchasing your food, bring it home and lay it all out on the floor for everyone to see. It will be quite impressive.
- Purchase one extra package of five different items you are already purchasing as you shop. Place the doubles in a special food storage area and don’t touch them until they can be replaced with new storage goods! If an item is on sale buy three and store two of them. Just think if all five items were on sale you could have fifteen new items in your food storage at the end of one shopping trip! You will be surprised how little this adds to your grocery bill and how quickly your storage grows.
- Take your lunch to work and pack a lunch for every member of the family. My children were not happy with this arrangement when they first entered high school, but soon realized it was far healthier and much faster to eat a lunch from home than to stand in line to buy one. This left more time for friends too. If you have a family member who objects, give them a budget of what it would cost to make a meal at home and let them try to eat out on that budget. A handful of chips from a full-size bag is much cheaper than a personal size bag of chips, and there are many other ways to save by brown-bagging your lunch.
- Go to a cash budget. Place cash in envelopes for food, entertanment, gifts, vacation, etc. As you shop or spend remember when the cash is gone you are done. Add an envelope for food storage and do not use it on anything else. If you have money left in any of your envelopes at the end of the month place it in the food storage envelope. Of course the vacation envelope should be added to until you take a vacation.
- Personally I hate clipping coupons, but I have friends who consider it a challenge. If you are like my friends, go for it but remember that even with a coupon, a name brand can still be more expensive than a store brand. Be careful and always compare prices.
- Cook from scratch. When baking cookies make a triple batch, make the dough into balls and freeze them for fast cookies later.
- Make up a large batch of your favorite cookie, muffin, quick breads and bread recipes. Now you can have recipes ready to bake without a mess in a matter of minutes. To create your own master mixes check here.
- Look down and look up. The less expensive products are usually on the lower shelves or on the top shelf. Shelf space is purchased by manufactures so those who do not pay those fees get the less desirable shelf space.
- Learn to can meat. Watch for sales on meat and can your own. It’s not hard and it tastes wonderful. At Thanksgiving turkey will be the cheapest it will be all year. Some stores even offer a free turkey when you spend a specific amount in the store. Be sure to plan your trips so you can get more than one free and can or divide it up and freeze it.
- Buy fruits and vegetables in season, better yet plant your own. You will be amazed how much you can grow in pots on your porch. If you live in an area with a harsh climate consider a green house.
- Never throw away food. If you have left overs freeze them for a quick meal on a busy day, take them to work for lunch or recreate them into a new meal by adding a sauce, placing them in a wrap or creating a casserole.
- Purchase cheaper cuts of meat and use your crockpot. Slow cooking will tenderize meats and make cheaper cuts perfect.
- Purchase in the ethnic foods section. You can purchase a huge jar of bullion, for example, in the Mexican foods section, for the same price as a small bottle in the spice isle.
Now it’s time to jump in and as President Kimball said “Do it”.
Be sure to follow the tips and purchases for the week on Carolyn’s facebook page. For those who may not have Facebook last week we stored five pounds of protein per family member and this week we will be storing 5 cans of fruit per family member. Lots more info and tips on Facebook so ask a friend to check for you!
DonJuly 15, 2015
I began my food storage with my first paycheck as a teacher. The store across the street had a sale of 50% off on a name brand corn. I purchased a case case. The next month it was again half off another brand name food I used, another case. Living in a small apartment, the space under the bed was full by the time I moved to larger quarters. Some time later I, counter to your advice, began a spreadsheet listing each item on sale in each of the 5 grocery stores I passed on the way home from work or other weekly place I drove to. We now have an entire years supply of all non perishable foods. This list helps me stick to the list and, along with coupons gives over 50% off almost all purchases. My wife writes the purchase price on the can label, it seems like a real reward to open a can purchased a year ago and see we paid 25 cents for a product that retails at $1.25 this year. I am now comfortably retired, keeping the same list. Only difference, plan shopping in a round trip from out house, 6 stpres i one day.